I bought Gianfranco Ferre Essence D’Eau blind for a laughably cheap sum on eBay. It’s a floral, so I thought I’d give it a chance since it was July after all.
On first spray I rather liked it: it was pretty, and full of flowers. After the drydown however, it smelt less appealing. Have you ever had a vase of flowers that have drooped and been just on their way out? Just before they go sour they go very sweet and honey like. It’s the smell of the inside of the trumpet of a daffodil in early June as they wilt and give way to the bolder summer flowers.
There is a hint of honey too, which may be why so many compare it to Lancôme’s Poême. In fact, if you are a Poême fan, I would recommend this as a much cheaper alternative. Even at full price, Essence D’Eau can currently be bought for less than £15 on Amazon (25ml), compared to Poême, which is currently £41.50 for a 50ml bottle, on the same site.
I find Essence D’Eau too sweet and honey like, although the whiff of parma violets in the base notes is very appealing and adds a shot of playfulness. This is yellow flowers all the way, and in my view, needs something sharp to cut across the fuzziness. Smelling this makes me think of a day that’s too hot for comfort, with a lazy droning of nearby bees in an over extravagant flowerbed.
If it was me, I would have changed the name: “Essence of Water” suggests something fresh and green or aquatic. Maybe they should have called this Essence Des Fleurs Jaunes Avec Miel, but I guess it doesn’t flow as well.